For the love of change

July 30, 2010 Candace Morris 3 Comments

My life has changed considerably in the last few months, and though I am recovering a new one, I realized that I had let some of the most simple pleasures become forgotten.  

I write letters.
One, two, twenty per month.

A lovely piece of correspondence arrived this week from my friend oversees and it inspired my instantly to write her back.  I used to save my writing for coffee shops and cafes, but since getting there is now a bit more challenging and dependent on many factors to plan around, I decided to just write her back right then and there. I grabbed my camping chair, planted myself on the lawn,  found a plain pad of paper and wrote, and wrote, and wrote. 

Sometimes waiting for the stars to align so that we can actually DO what we enjoy
just isn't worth the wait.

And so I go about redefining my days.  Finding ways to schedule the things that make me ME have never felt so important.  Things change.  I can change with them.


a little bit country

July 29, 2010 Candace Morris 2 Comments

wrapping a $2.99 beer in tin foil to keep it cold
drying a slip on the patio railing
sitting in camping chairs at home

And gursh darn.
I luv it.


the play's the thing

July 28, 2010 Candace Morris 5 Comments

Last night, as my birthday present from the saint, I was treated to my restaurant and play of choice.  Both were way more than I expected.   Before seeing "Ruined" at the Intiman, my sister and Joel and I stopped at Toulouse Petit Kitchen and Lounge.  This open air French Quarter-esqu restaurant was first of all, very beautiful and second of all, very impressive with their food and drink selection and quality.

Hell, any drink menu that offers a Sazerac as the first cocktail listed has my vote.
But then, THEN I tell you, it was a good Sazerac.  
Well, that's what the saint said.
I myself had a Kir Royal.

Pour moi:
Caprese Salad
New York Steak au Poivre
Banana's Foster
French Press

Pour ma soeur:
(caught here in a moment of regret remembering her spilled chartreuse from last week's dining adventure)
Toulouse Salad
Crawfish Etouffee

Pour mon mari:
Toulouse Salad
Steak Tartar 
(served with a raw egg on top, just as he likes it)
Earl Grey Tea

We then took a wonderful evening stroll to the theatre a few blocks away, ordered our intermission Manhattans and sat down fat and happy.
This play was so moving, so completely heart-wrenching that I totally had to swallow sobs for the last 10 minutes.  Bravo! Bravo! I wanted to scream, and almost hugged one of the actresses on my way out.  
(If you live in the area and have ANY chance at all to see it, I think it's the best play I've seen in quite some time).

Thank you so much my Joelio, for giving up your ideals of present-giving and speaking to me in my love language...words, culture, cocktails, city.  I know you would have rather dropped obscene amounts of cash on one big present; but you listened and responded to my needs.
From the day we've done so.

Thirty-Two...I am liquored up and ready for you!


what's for lunch?

July 27, 2010 Candace Morris 6 Comments

that's what's for lunch.


weekend report

July 26, 2010 Candace Morris 3 Comments

July has been SUCH a whirlwind of busy weekends, but this last one was all about relaxing at home...doing normal Saturday/Sunday stuff, staring at the birds on Dad's back porch, staying in pajama's way too long, lingering over a bottle of Rosé,  playing dress-up with Clara, catching up on magazines, organizing the scary parts of the saint's closet, eating fresh fruit.  

Slow and mellow...exactly what I needed...a lazy summer weekend with nothing to write home about.

Gearing up for one busy week and another busy weekend to come, but oh, this last weekend was nice.
Off to make coffee,


More Birthday Reporting...

July 24, 2010 Candace Morris 4 Comments

On my actual birthday, I met a few girlfriends (and Ben, who counts as a girlfriend anyway) for lunch at Le Pichet.  I absolutely adore this restaurant, but had only been there alone one summer day to write and grab a quick bowl of soup, so wanted to revisit it for a special occasion.  I was also quite excited for the opportunity to finally reveal the dress I made for myself last year, but was waiting for the appropriate time.  What other way to celebrate yourself than to wear something you made?  This dress is constructed from Joel's grandmother's pattern, and I felt her spirit with me all day.  It felt VERY good.

After a wonderful lunch of falafel on a watermelon salad, followed by a pesto/goat cheese soup, I took myself to a massage at Cortiva Institute.  I love this place because you can grab a student massage for $35, and the therapists are every bit as good as graduated students.

I knew after a day out on the town, I would be too tired to go out for dinner, so Joel decided to make me dinner. When I requested cheeseburgers, he laughed.  "Really?" For your birthday dinner?"  So he did it...but oh that saint is SUCH an idealist.  He decided to make his own rolls, which took 2 hours to rise (during which I took a nap, read a book, took a bath).  He made his own ketchup, his own mayo, his own andouille for the belgian fries.  It was all  RIDICULOUSLY tasty, even if we didn't eat until 10pm! ;)

Afterwards, we enjoyed the requested Rainbow Chip birthday cake that my sister whipped up.  I fell into bed exhausted from the love I knew surrounded me.

And it's not over.
Even if you're tired of hearing about it.
Joel and Teresa are taking me to the Intiman to see "Ruined" next week. I LOVE going to plays, so we'll grab dinner and the theater and have an evening out as well.  Seattle-ites, have a restaurant recommendation for Queen Anne?

Le Perfect.


Swooning by Self

July 23, 2010 Candace Morris 3 Comments

My birthday was a wonderfully full day...pampering, hugs, texts, facebook posts, phone calls, wine, cake, FOOD.  I went to bed incredibly happy, but also incredibly exhausted.  Introverts and there's a tricky combination indeed.  I knew to expect this, and had already set up a "birthday to myself" date with well, ME.  I did this last year and found it immensely beneficial to my psyche and soul.

Now I am a girl with an incredibly full social calendar.  I would never complain about this, for all of my interactions are relationships I love and are never obligatory, but even the most talented of introverts (talented at balancing their social/private lives, that is) would be hard-pressed to keep up.  My relationships are deeply meaningful to me.  That being said, wasn't it __________ who said, "There is no relationship as important as the relationship you have with yourself."  (Well darn you google...I can't find it).  Though this may be a bit extreme, I heartily agree with the underlying sentiment.  After the upheaval of the last few months, my relationship with myself (naturally so) has been put on the back burner.  It was nice, for a day, to reconnect and spoil myself.  I hope to do it more often.

I donned a pretty new dress (one my sis bought for me) with a lacy vintage slip peaking out.  I applied a bit too much blush.  I wore my favorite boots and drove off to Seattle blaring Puccini.  I started at Oddfellows Cafe with the newspaper, a baguette with strawberry jam, and an endless cup of coffee.  It was crowded, but I truly must be a city girl, because I just love a noisy cafe.  My thoughts are louder than when in complete country silence and I feel much more secure.  

 I need the world to whirl around me sometimes to know that I am truly sitting still.  

After I finished up the riveting Seattle Times (I also love to reconnect with this city; her restaurant openings, her museum exhibitions, her liberal banter), I broke out my journal.   Despite having a list of correspondence to catch up on, I realized that the one letter I really needed to write was to myself. 

I asked those questions, you know the ones.  "Am I happy with my life continuing as it is?"  I stated the desires of my heart, "I want a new haircut.  I want to be pregnant."  I made a potential schedule of a writer's life and faced the latent fear of why I've never really embraced it before.  Would doing this art thing FOR REAL change how Mrs. Muse visits me?  I am petrified to apply a business lens to her.   I thought about the Hemingway quote that Jess posted in her birthday tribute to me.  He said to himself, "Do not worry.  You have always written before and you will write now.  All you have to do is write one true sentence.  Write the truest sentence you know."  I looked at my could I check in with Joel more to feel if he is truly being loved.  Can a relationship be not one's first priority and still be as rich as it used to be?  What is 8 years of marriage...what is normal in the ebb and flow of love?  I've recently been inspired by the blog, Today's Letters wherein one wife writes a sentence per day to her husband about how she loves him.  They reconnect every Tuesday night with a few questions, one of them being, "How did you feel loved this week."  I thought about the composition of my photography and worked on a purpose statement.  These little thoughts were stuck inside of me and it feel beyond cathartic to let them have uninterrupted free reign for a few hours.

After breakfast, I fed the meter, bought some postcards at Elliot Bay Books and then walked the ten blocks to another (my favorite) bookstore Half Price Books.  I had really been missing Sylvia since finishing her letters and journals, so I decided to start in on the plethora of biographies.  I settled on one entitled, "Her Husband" by Diane Middlebrook.  After reading a bit in the bookstore, I wandered next door to B&O Espresso where I promptly ordered a glass of wine and a hummus plate and got deep into the book.  The lunch rush soon died down, and for a few hours, I was the only on in the place.  So perfect.

Sylvia Plath (albeit full of whiskey) actually BIT Ted Hughes on the night they met.  
She's so strange and AWESOME.
Also, he totally deserved it.

You deserve to be romanced.
I believe it is important for it to come from those you love,
but also equally valuable for it to come from yourself.

What have you done for you lately?

p.s. a mysterious necklace arrived from etsy this week, but i am not sure who to thank for it.  reveal yourself!


A Birthday Poem, for me.

July 21, 2010 Candace Morris 5 Comments

This poem appeared in my inbox this week.  One of my very best friends wrote it in honor of my 32nd anniversary of birth.   These are the gifts I truly relish.

 The Age Scout

It may only be 3 months and 24 days,
But it is an aging advantage nonetheless.
You go before us like an ambassador
Of life's progress.
Like the emboldened kid who drew the short straw
And is therefore obliged to peek into the livingroom
And hail the "all-clear" with a nod, a whisper and a wave.
Like the determined hiker steering the group
With a map and a second wind,
You crown the summit ahead of us and survey the
Panorama with a slow stare from East to West.
We look up at you, watching your shoulders
Bear the heaving sigh of yet another apex mounted.
We steer by you.
We rely upon your forward march.
We gladly send you ahead
And tremulously, we follow.

~jessica m. gomes

It really touched me, plus I think she's a kick-ass writer.  Don't you?
Words are just the best.


en images: camping at Mt. Rainier

July 20, 2010 Candace Morris 9 Comments

 As promised, here are a few more camping pictures.

The saint was so exhausted from his last few weeks at work...poor guy.
Although I really love camping with my woodwose, it was especially fun to have my sister and niece along!
Man, that girl makes me laugh.

I like to call the following pictures
"Adventures in Wine Opening"
because despite my camping preparedness, I totally forgot a wine key.

Yes, she had to use a steak knife.  It eventually worked, but wine got everywhere and we had to strain it.
Well, it was good anyway...cork bits and all.

At that point, Joel decided to take matters into his own hands and whiddle his own damn corkscrew.
 I was, as usual, impressed.

A few silly moments:

And a few quiet moments:

Mt. Rainier is a bit nostalgic for me because of a few trips we've taken with our friends; it therefore possesses a kind of magic.  As I entered the familiar campground,  this magic transformed our little family's tension and anxiety into naps, walks in solitude, quiet talks around the fire, and vistas so beautiful they make the soul weep.
p.s. You can check out the entire album here.